Cops get funds to update technology

Enterprise file photo — Michael Koff

Captain Eric Batchelder, who retired last month after 26 years with the Guilderland Police Department, wrote the application for the $103,568 grant the department received this week.

ALBANY COUNTY — Several local law-enforcement agencies are among the 378 statewide to receive a total of $127 million in state grants to pay for new technology.

The Guilderland Police Department received $103,568, the Bethlehem Police Department got $746,642, and the Albany County Sheriff's Office received $355,147.

 “By investing in the latest technology and equipment, we’re responding to the requests of law enforcement agencies as they look to safeguard the future of our state,” said Governor Kathy Hochul in a release announcing the grants on Monday.

More than half of the total funding will be used to support license-plate readers (22 percent), body-worn and patrol vehicle equipment (20 percent), and public safety camera systems (17 percent), according to the release.

Bethlehem Deputy Chief James Rexford said of his department’s $746,642 grant, “We are planning on using the money to upgrade our dispatcher radio consoles in the department’s Communications Center.”

If there is any money left over, he told The Enterprise, it will be used for upgrades to the mobile computers in officers’ patrol cars.

Commander Robert Baldwin applied for the grant at the direction of Chief Gina Cocchiara, he said.

“This money will help the department tremendously,” Rexford concluded.

Guilderland Police Chief Daniel McNally said his department’s scanner is outdated and the entire $103,568 grant will be used to purchase a Trimble 3D Forensic Scanner.

The scanner will be used for accident reconstruction and also for crime and fire-scene documentation, McNally told The Enterprise.

“What’s really neat is you don’t even have to go into the building,” he said, which will be safer for officers.

Promotional literature for the scanner says, “The 3D data you obtain will give you the power to determine both how and when an event occurred. In just minutes, you can capture evidence indoors or outdoors, including bloodstain patterns, bullet holes, tool marks, shoe prints, and much more.”

Captain Eric Batchelder, who retired last month, wrote the grant application, McNally said.

The department is still waiting for official notification of the grant and hopes to have the scanner by summertime.

McNally concluded, “I think it’s great to get money for fighting crime.”

The county sheriff’s office did not respond to Enterprise inquiry on how it will spend its $355,147 grant.

More Guilderland News

  • The acreage is located near the intersection of Pine Lane and Rapp Road in Albany, and backs on to the side of Crossgates containing Macy's, Regal Cinema, Best Buy.

  • The May 17 petition filed by Cuyler Court residents William and Colleen Anders claims that, in July 2023, the town’s use of heavy equipment to access “stormwater or water management facilities” caused damage to their driveway and yard, which when combined with Guilderland’s “negligence and failure to maintain certain components” of those facilities, led to “significant flooding” of the Anders’ basement six months later. 

  • Guilderland is on the cusp of forming a District Facilities Committee to map out the district’s next capital project. It will dovetail with work currently underway by a Future Ready Task Force.

The Altamont Enterprise is focused on hyper-local, high-quality journalism. We produce free election guides, curate readers' opinion pieces, and engage with important local issues. Subscriptions open full access to our work and make it possible.